Stephen Tavaniwas appointed as assistant concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra in September 2018. He has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician around the world. In describing his play, The New York Times reported, “Tavani sometimes cooled his tone to the smoothness of frosted glass, adding a soft-focus filter to the chiseled melodies.”
Mr. Tavani has performed as soloist with conductors Carlos Miguel Prieto and Andrew Litton, and played recitals and chamber concerts in Germany, Spain, Belgium, Finland, and New Zealand. Before joining The Cleveland Orchestra, he served as concertmaster for the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and guest concertmaster for the Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, and Louisiana Philharmonic. In addition, he has held the position of concertmaster for many other orchestras, including the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of Americas, National Repertory Orchestra, MasterWorks Festival Orchestra, and the Colburn Orchestra.
Mr. Tavani has appeared at a variety of festivals and chamber events, including the Marlboro Music Festival, Dresden Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Colburn Chamber Music Society, and Curtis Recital Series. He is also a member of the New York Classical Players and the Dolce Suono Ensemble. He has participated in a number of world-class violin competitions, such as the Queen Elisabeth Competition, Michael Hill Violin Competition, and Sibelius International Violin Competition in Helsinki, where he advanced to the semifinal round.
As a member of a chamber ensemble from Curtis on Tour, Mr. Tavani has performed extensively across Spain and Germany with students and alumni from Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. He has also taught a series of masterclasses in those same countries, including at conservatories in Alicante and Bremen.
Mr. Tavani received an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he held the Dorothy J. del Bueno Fellowship while studying with Ida Kavafian and Arnold Steinhardt. He also earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles after working with Robert Lipsett. He completed his education at the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Concertmaster Academy program under the tutelage of William Preucil. Other previous teachers include Aaron Rosand, Shirley Givens, and Ronda Cole. He currently plays on a W.E. Hill & Sons bow generously loaned by Tom Frisina.
Mr. Tavani’s wife, Amanda, is a double bassist and music educator. He was raised in Northern Virginia and comes from a musical family of six brothers, including two cellists, another violinist, and a pianist. His mother is a voice teacher and lyric soprano, his father a family physician and pianist.